Press Releases

KARRI secures £775k pre-seed to launch smart walkie talkie for kids to communicate safely with parents 

  • London-based KARRI has raised £775k in pre-seed funding to launch a smart walkie talkie for kids, aiming to give them independence and parents peace of mind.

  • Screen-based devices that provide full access to the internet can be distracting, unsafe and overly complicated for young children. KARRI offers a simple solution in its data-enabled walkie talkie for four to ten year olds, which is securely integrated with a smartphone app for parents.

  • KARRI allows children to send messages simply by pushing a button and speaking, while parents can receive and send messages back via the KARRI app. KARRI also has GPS functionality so parents can track their kids’ location and be notified if they roam too far from home.

  • The investment is led by Berlin and San Francisco-based venture capital firm 468 Capital, with participation from a large group of angel investors including Verena Pausder (an early backer of Edurino), Hakan Koç (founder and CEO of 1GLOBAL), and Michael Hernaus and Wolfgang Reisinger (Tractive).

London, 22nd May 2024 – KARRI, a startup developing a smart walkie-talkie for children, has raised £775,000 in pre-seed funding. The round was led by 468 Capital and included contributions from a notable group of angel investors such as Verena Pausder (an early backer of play-based learning provider Edurino and Chair of the Board at the German Startup Association), Hakan Koç (founder and CEO of the global IoT provider 1GLOBAL), and Michael Hernaus and Wolfgang Reisinger (founder and managing director of Tractive, the GPS pet tracking company).

Other participants include Sven Vaders (VP of Product and a founding member of the Frankfurt-listed company Tonies), Matthias Laug (co-founder and former CTO of Tier Mobility with expertise in IoT), and Christian Indra (a senior product leader at Shopify).

The investment marks a major step forward in the company’s mission to enable a seamless way for parents and young kids to stay in touch, giving kids greater independence and parents peace of mind. KARRI will use the funding to take its product from the current prototype testing phase to mass production and rollout in the UK.

Parents of young children often want to give them more freedom and independence to roam with their friends in local neighbourhoods but are also increasingly wary of giving them screen-based devices like smartphones that expose them to the full internet. These devices are difficult to supervise and also distracting, especially when on-the-go, while typical walkie talkies have limited range and ‘dumb’ phones lack parental controls and monitoring.

KARRI has built a simple and reliable solution by providing a data-enabled walkie talkie for children which is securely integrated with a smartphone app for parents. Designed for children aged four to ten, KARRI is a robust and waterproof device which allows children to send messages simply by pushing a button and speaking. 

Parents can receive and send messages back via the KARRI app, and track their kids’ location via GPS. For additional security, parents can enable geo-fencing to demarcate a “safe zone” and be automatically notified if their child roams beyond this area. Kids can also use their KARRI like a classic walkie talkie and communicate with one another in channels, as well as with their parents and relatives, all securely managed via the KARRI smartphone app for parents.

Pete Clifford, KARRI founder and Managing Director, said:

"It is our core belief that we have overprotected children in the real world while under protecting them in the virtual world. KARRI is designed to help redress this imbalance by eliminating the need to give young children a smartphone. 

Parents are increasingly concerned about their children's online safety and extensive screen time, yet they value the benefits of staying connected with them at all times in the real world. We're excited that KARRI will allow children to roam free, explore, and gain independence while ensuring their safety and giving parents peace of mind.

We aimed to make it as easy as possible for parents and children to stay in touch, so we have built a screen-free solution that is simple and reliable."

Alexander Kudlich, General Partner at 468 Capital said:

"Our investment in KARRI underlines our commitment to backing innovations that redefine how technology can be used responsibly and enhance our daily lives. The team has ambitious plans to support parents with young kids and beyond, and we’re excited for what comes next."

London-based KARRI launched in December 2023, offering pre-orders initially to UK customers following two years of developing and prototyping. KARRI expects to ship its first finished products at the end of August 2024, with a full public launch to follow.